Page images

more than three years under one appointment, the governor and the State superintendent being ex officio members. Each of the appointed trustees receives a mileage (10 cents) for each mile traveled, and $2 a day when employed.


Attendance.-Character of instruction.—Text books.—Buildings.

Attendance.-Every person having under his control a child between the ages of 8 and 15 years shall annually cause such child to attend for at least sixteen weeks some public school, which time shall be divided, so far as the arrangement of school terms will allow, into two terms, each of eight consecutive weeks, and for every neglect of such duty the person offending shall forfeit a sum not exceeding $25 to the treasurer of the city or town for the use of its public schools. But if a child has elsewhere been furnished for a like period of time with the means of education equal to that taught in the common schools of the State, or if his physical or mental condition is such as to prevent attendance at school or application to study, such penalty shall not be incurred. Children living remote from any public school in the town in which they reside may be allowed to attend a public school in an adjoining town, the town in which the child resides making compensation to the town maintaining the school he attends. Every boy between the ages of 10 and 15 years who refuses to attend school as required and who may be found wandering about the streets, etc., while the school of which he is legally a scholar is in session, shall, on complaint of the truant officer, be committed to the State reform school, provided that due warning be given by the officer to the truant and those having control of him. Police and municipal courts and trial justices have jurisdiction of these offenses. Towns may make such by-laws, not conflicting with the law, concerning habitual truants and children between 6 and 17 years of age not attending school, without any regular and lawful occupation, and growing up in ignorance, as are most conducive to their welfare and the good order of society, and may annex a suitable penalty, not exceeding $20, for any breach thereof. But such by-laws must first be approved by a judge of the supreme judicial court.

Character of instruction.-For the subjects taught in public schools see under duties of "Superintending school committee" above; also under "Teachers." The State superintendent prescribes the necessary studies, but the town committee may add others.

Any city or town may annually make provision for free instruction in industrial or mechanical drawing to persons over 15 years of age, either in day or evening schools.

Cities and towns may raise and appropriate money for the support of evening schools; such schools shall admit persons of any age, but must limit their instruction to the elementary branches.

Any town, or two or more adjoining towns, may establish and maintain not more than two high schools. The course of study in the free high schools shall embrace the ordinary English academic studies, especially the natural sciences in their application to mechanics, manufactures, and agriculture; but the ancient or modern languages and music shall not be taught except by direction of the superintending school committee. Such schools shall be open to the youth of the town, or union of towns, having the requisite literary qualifications, and shall be subject to the laws governing the public schools. When two or more towns unite in establishing a free high school the two school committees shall form a board of management. Any town may from year to year authorize its school committee to contract with the trustees of any academy to instruct resident scholars in the town free of charge.


Text-books.-See also under Duties of superintending school committees "above. Towns shall provide schoolbooks for the use of the pupils in their public schools at the public expense. School committees shall make rules and regulations for the distribution and preservation of books and appliances furnished at the town's expense. When a pupil in the public school loses, destroys, or unnecessarily injures any schoolbook or appliance owned by the town, his parent or guardian shall be notified, and if the loss is not made good within a reasonable time the assessor shall include in the next town tax of the delinquent parent or guardian the value of the book or appliance so lost, destroyed, or injured.

Buildings and sites.-When a location for the erection or removal of a schoolhouse and requisite buildings has been legally designated but the owner refuses to sell, a schoolhouse lot not exceeding 100 square rods may be condemned, and damages appraised as provided for laying out town ways.

A plan for the erection or reconstruction of a schoolhouse voted by a town shall first be approved by the superintending school committee.

If a minor injures or aids in injuring any schoolhouse, outbuilding, utensils, or appurtenances belonging thereto, or defaces the wall, benches, seats, or other parts of said buildings by marks, cuts, or otherwise, or injures or destroys any public school property, the town, through the truant officer, may recover from parent or guardian in an action of debt double the damage occasioned thereby. Whoever defaces the walls, benches, etc., by obscene pictures, language, marks, or descriptions, shall be fined not exceeding $10 on complaint made within one year.


Funds (of a permanent or special nature).—Taxation.

Funds.-The State treasurer shall keep a separate account of all moneys received from sales of lands appropriated for the support of schools or from notes taken therefor, and of any other moneys appropriated for the same purpose; and such sum shall constitute a permanent school fund, which may be put at interest as the legislature directs. A sum equal to 6 per cent of the amount of said fund, and all moneys received by the State from the tax on banks, together with one-half the amount of the annual tax paid by savings banks, shall be appropriated to the support of common schools and distributed early in July among the several towns according to the number of children therein between 4 and 21 years of age, as furnished by the State superintendent. The number of children 4 to 21 in towns not reporting the fact shall be taken to be the number returned for the last preceding apportionment, less the children set off to other towns or incorporated into a new town within the year, and one-tenth of the remaining number. The treasurer shall notify the delinquent town of the apportionment, which shall not be paid to any town until its return is made to the superintendent, nor until all State taxes due from such town have been paid.

Taxation.-A tax of 1 mill on a dollar shall annually be assessed upon all property in the State, and shall be known as the mill tax for the support of common schools. It shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as other State taxes, and be paid into the State treasury and designated as the school mill fund. This fund shall annually be distributed by the State treasurer on the 1st day of January to the several cities, towns, and plantations according to the number of children therein, as the same shall appear from the official return of the State superintendent made the previous year. All the school mill fund not distributed or expended during the financial year shall, at its close, be added to the permanent school fund.

Every town shall raise and expend annually for the support of schools therein, exclusive of the income of any corporate school fund or of any grant from the revenue or funds from the State, or of any voluntary donation, devise, bequest, or of any forfeiture accruing to the use of schools, not less than 80 cents for each inhabitant, according to the census by which representatives to the legislature were last apportioned, under penalty of forfeiting not less than twice nor more than four times the amount of the deficiency. The governor and council may cause the State treasurer to withhold from a town supposed to be evading the law its share both of the State school fund and the school mill fund until satisfied to the contrary.

Towns shall provide schoolbooks for the use of the pupils in their public schools at the expense of the town, and all moneys raised and appropriated for that purpose shall be assessed like other moneys.

The assessors or municipal officers of each town shall on or before the 1st day of each May make to the State superintendent of common schools a certificate, under oath, embracing the following items:

I The amount voted by the town for common schools at the preceding annual meeting.

II. The amount of school moneys payable to the town from the State treasury during the year ending with the 1st day of the preceding April.

III. The amount of money actually expended for common schools during the last school year.

IV. The amount of school moneys unexpended.

V. Answers to other inquiries regarding school finances as called for on the blank furnished by the State superintendent.

No money appropriated by law for public schools shall be paid from the town treasury, except upon the written order of its municipal officers upon presentation of an avouched bill of items.

Any town or towns establishing and maintaining one or more free high schools for at least ten weeks in the year shall receive from the State one-half the amount actually expended for instruction in said school or schools, not, however, to exceed $250: Provided, That no town shall receive such State aid unless its appropriation and expenditure for such school has been exclusive of the amounts required by law for common-school purposes. Towns may raise money for establishing and maintaining free high schools, the buildings and appurtenances, in the same manner as for supporting common schools and erecting schoolhouses.



State superintendent.—School board (each "town" constituting a "school district").-Truant officers.

State superintendent.-The governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall appoint a superintendent of public instruction, who shall hold office for the term of two years, and shall have general supervision and control of the educational interests of the State. He shall prescribe the form of register to be kept in the schools and the form of blanks and inquiries to be filled out by the district school boards and forward them; preserve or distribute all State documents in regard to public schools or education; compile the reports and returns of school boards; investigate the condition and efficiency of the system; awaken and guide public sentiment in educational matters, and shall make an annual report containing a concise abstract of the returns of the school boards, a detailed report of his own doings, a statement of the condition and progress of popular education in the State, such suggestions and recommendations in regard to improving the same as his information and judgment may dictate, and the condition of the State normal school. He shall visit and lecture in towns, and organize, superintend, and conduct at least one teachers' institute each year in each county of the State, or appoint a suitable person to do so. He shall also forward to the chairman of every school board in the State a copy of his annual report.

School board.-The district school board consists of three persons, except when the district (town) maintains a high school, when the membership may be increased to six or nine. One-third of the members shall be chosen each year. Districts may elect or appoint a superintendent of schools, who shall hold office for such term, be vested with such of the powers and duties of the school board, and be entitled to such compensation as it may provide.

The duties of the district school board are to prescribe regulations for the attendance upon and for the management, studies, classification, and discipline of the schools. They shall hire as teachers persons holding certificates and dismiss those found unfit to teach or insubordinate, provide schools at such places within the district and at such times within the year as will best subserve the interests of education, and will give to all the scholars of the district as nearly equal advantages as may be practicable. They may use a portion of the school money, not exceeding 25 per cent, for the purpose of conveying scholars to and from the schools, and make the necessary repairs to schoolhouses and furniture, not exceeding in cost 5 per cent of the school money. They shall furnish to every teacher one of the blank registers provided by the superintendent of public instruction, and shall visit and examine each school in their district at least twice in each term, once near the beginning, once near the close. They shall make an annual report, to be filed with the selectmen of the town, stating the number of weeks of school in summer and winter, the number taught by each sex, the number of pupils in attendance and pursuing each study, the number of pupils not less than 5 years of age who have attended the public schools in their districts not less than two weeks during the year, and such suggestions as they may think useful. They shall also include in their reports a statement of the number of each sex reported by the selectmen or assessors, the number of each sex between the ages of 5 and 15 years who have not attended school, and the number of persons in each district between the ages of 14 and 21 who can not read or write. They shall report annually on the 1st day of April to the State superintendent on blanks furnished by him. Any member who shall refuse or neglect to perform his duties shall be fined not exceeding $50. By a law of 1895 towns may join in employing a superintendent, who shall perform in each town the duties incumbent upon the school board.

But a part of one "town" may be annexed to another for school purposes by consent of the selectmen of the towns concerned. (Law of April 1, 1893.)

Truant officers.-School boards may appoint truant officers and fix their pay, which is to be paid by the town. Such officers are to hold office for one year, and are removable for cause. Their duties are to enforce the laws regarding truants and children 6 to 16 without any regular or lawful occupation, and, if required by the school board, shall enforce the laws regarding the illegal employment of children in manufacturing establishments. They shall also annually take the school census of persons 5-16 years of age, and collect such other facts as may be required.


Appointment, qualifications, and duties.-Preliminary training.-Meetings. Appointment, qualifications, and duties.-The school board shall hire teachers holding certificates.

The superintendent of public instruction shall cause to be held at such convenient places and times public examination of candidates for the position of teacher in the public schools. Such examinations shall test the professional as well as the scholastic abilities of candidates and shall be conducted by such persons in such manner as the State superintendent may designate. A certificate of qualification shall be given to all candidates who pass satisfactory examinations in such branches as are required by law to be taught and who in other respects fulfill the requirements set by the State superintendent. Such certificate shall be either probationary or permanent, and shall indicate the grade of school which the holder is qualified to teach. These certificates may be accepted by school committees in lieu of the personal examination required by the following paragraph:

Candidates for teaching in the public schools shall be examined by the school board in the studies required by law, and those passing a satisfactory examination and presenting satisfactory evidence of good moral character and capacity for government shall receive certificates of qualification good for one year.

Every teacher shall make the entries in the register required by the superintendent of public instruction and at the close of the term shall return the register to the school board. Twenty dollars of the wages of every teacher shall be withheld until he has made such return.

Preliminary training.-The instruction in the New Hampshire State Normal School shall be confined to such branches as will specially prepare the pupils to teach in the public schools and to such other branches as are usually taught in normal schools. The school shall be in session at least twenty weeks in each year. Its management is a board of seven trustees, five appointed for two years by the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, and the governor and the State superintendent ex officio. They receive no compensation other than reasonable expenses while engaged in their duties. They appoint a principal, who, with themselves, fixes the course of study and the admission and graduation requirements. Tuition and graduation charges are remitted to those who agree to teach in the public schools for a period equal to their attendance on the exercises of the school. Institutes. See under Organization-State superintendent.


Attendance.-Character of instruction.-Text-books.-Buildings.

Attendance.-No person shall attend school in a district in which he does not reside without permission. Every pupil must have been vaccinated before admission. Every person having the care and custody and control of a child between the ages of 8-16 years, residing in a school district having annually a public school, shall cause such child to attend the public school for at least twelve weeks in every year, at least six of which are to be consecutive, unless the school board shall excuse the delinquent because of physical or mental infirmity or because instructed in a private school, for at least twelve weeks during the year, in the common English branches, or, having acquired those branches, in other more advanced studies. The penalty for violation of this provision is $10 for the first and $20 for every subsequent offense, for the use of the school district, the offender having first been cautioned. The school board is to prosecute under penalty of $20, to be recovered by the selectmen of the town. No child under the age of 10 shall be employed in any manufacturing establishment, nor shall any child under the age of 16 years, who can not read and write, be employed in any manufacturing establishment during the time the public schools in the district in which he resides are in session. Children not included in the provision immediately preceding shall not be employed in a manufacturing establishment unless they shall first furnish to the person proposing to employ them a certificate of the school board of the

district in which they reside that they have attended some public or private day school in which the common English branches are taught during the preceding year, as follows: If under 16 and over 14 years of age, twelve weeks; if under 14 and over 12 years of age, six months, or such part thereof as the schools in the district in which they reside were in session; and if under 12 and over 10 years of age, the whole time the schools were open. Any person connected with a manufacturing establishment violating these provisions shall be fined not more than $50, at the motion of the school board and for the benefit of the school district.

Any scholar may be dismissed the school for gross misconduct. School districts may make by-laws regarding the attendance of children 6-16 if not contrary to the laws of State governing such attendance.

Character of instruction.—The sums raised by local taxation shall be appropriated to the sole purpose of maintaining public schools for teaching reading, writing, English grammar, arithmetic, geography, and such other branches as are adapted to the advancement of the schools.

The board shall prescribe in all mixed schools and in all graded schools above primary the study of physiology and hygiene, having special reference to the effects of alcoholic stimulants and of narcotics upon the human system, and may permit or interdict the study of algebra, geometry, surveying, bookkeeping, philosophy, chemistry, and natural history, or any of them, and other studies of the kind.

Any district, or two or more adjoining districts, may by vote or by-law establish and maintain a high school in which the higher English branches of education and the Latin, Greek, and modern languages may be taught. Any district may contract with an academy, seminary, or other literary institution located within its limits or immediate vicinity to furnish instruction to its own resident youth.

Text-books.-The school board shall purchase at the municipal expense the textbooks and other required supplies for the public schools and shall loan the same to the pupils free of charge. Every schoolbook shall continue in use for five years, but no book shall be introduced to favor any particular religious sect or political party.

Buildings and sites.-The district may decide upon the location of its schoolhouses by vote or special committee, but no committee shall have power to bind the district beyond the amount of money voted by it. Failure on the part of the district or its special committee to select a site authorizes the school board, on petition of 10 or more voters, to determine where the school shall be placed, but 10 or more voters may carry an appeal to the county commissioners. If a district refuse or neglect to build, repair, remove, or fit up a schoolhouse, the selectmen, upon petition of 3 or more voters, may, after hearing of all parties, assess upon the district and collect the amounts necessary to perform the work. A school district or its board may grant the use of any schoolhouse in the district for a writing or singing school and for religious or other meetings whenever such use will not conflict with regular school exercises.


Funds (permanent or special).—Taxation.

Literary fund.—All taxes collected by the State upon the deposits, stock, and attending accumulations of depositors and stockholders, of savings banks, trust companies, loan and trust companies, loan and banking companies, building and loan associations, and other similar corporations nonresident of the State shall be known as the literary fund. This fund shall be distributed in November of each year among the towns and places in proportion to the number of scholars not less than 5 years of age who shall by the last reports of the school boards returned to the State superintendent appear to have attended the public schools not less than two weeks within the year. The town shall assign the amount so received to the district, to be used by them in support of public schools, though one-fifth may be reserved by the school board for the purchase of blackboards, dictionaries, maps, charts, and school apparatus. Towns misapplying their portion of the literary fund shall refund to the State double the sum misapplied.

Dog and railroad taxes.-All money arising from the taxation and licensing of dogs remaining in the treasury of any town or city on the 1st day of April annually which is not due to holders of orders given for loss of or damage to domestic animals by dogs shall be applied to the support of the public schools and shall be assigned to the districts as is other school money. The State treasurer shall pay to each town its proportion of each railroad tax whenever the same shall have been paid to him. [The whole or a part may be applied to the support of public schools.]

« PreviousContinue »